My heart, which had finally returned to its regular beat, felt as though it was cracking in my chest as I listened to what Frank said. Of course, that was why they were here.
“I told you I wasn’t a virgin,” Frank Jr. said in a low voice.
Frank chuckled. “That may be, but any one of these ladies will make sure you’re well taken care of. You might learn some things. It’s your birthday, enjoy it.”
Frank Jr. replied, his voice still low, “Whores aren’t my thing.”
“These are the finest ones around, son. You’ll be in safe hands. Take your pick, and then I can pick mine.”
“And if I don’t?” Frank Jr. asked.
“Then you’ll piss me off,” Frank stated, giving Frank Jr. a stern look.
“I can assure you,” Madam cut in, “all of my girls are clean and well trained. They aren’t like high school girls.” She chuckled.
Frank Jr. looked at his father another moment and then stepped toward the line of girls. He still hadn’t taken a sip of the vodka in his hand, and that made me nervous. I wasn’t sure what Madam would do to me if Frank Jr. asked for something else. Was Grey Goose not a good brand?
Just like Madam had done not ten minutes prior, Frank Jr. walked by each girl, looking them up and down from their heads to their feet and back up. When he got to the end, I expected him to walk back down the line because he hadn’t made a decision yet. Instead, he stopped in front of me, looking back at Frank and Madam. “I choose her,” he said.
My eyes widened as Madam said in a raised voice, “Zell isn’t one of the girls.”
“She’s not?” Frank Jr. questioned and turned his head to look at me.
I lowered my gaze while I waited for Madam to respond. I expected her to say something about me being her daughter, and therefore, off-limits. Instead, she said, “She’s never been with a man before. She wouldn’t know what to do. Pick one of the others. They will show you a good time.”
My face got hot again, and I was certain I looked like a tomato. I couldn’t believe that Madam had told Frank Jr. I was a virgin. I’d read about a virgin once. She met a guy with a helicopter and had weird sex with him. She seemed to like it, but that didn’t mean I was ready for this handsome boy to know I was a virgin.
“Is that true?” Frank Jr. asked as he looked into my eyes. “Are you a virgin?” I nodded, not able to speak. He turned back to Madam and his father. “Then, yes, I want her.”
“She’s not even groomed,” Madam stated to Frank.
“Son, why don’t you pick someone else?”
“With all due respect, Father, you brought me here to, what was it? Become a man? Being a man is choosing who I want to sleep with, and I choose …” He paused for a moment. “Zell.”
The tray I was still holding fell from my grasp and clattered onto the floor. Madam’s gaze snapped to me, and my eyes widened before I quickly bent to pick it up. My heart was beating so fast in my chest that I was certain Frank Jr. could hear it. I kept my gaze on the floor, not able to look at anyone. I couldn’t believe this was happening.
Lock by Kimberly Knight is one of many books in The Sinister Fairy Tales Collection, a collection of dark fairy tale retelling. This novel is based on the Brother’s Grimm version of Rapunzel.
Zell has lived her life in a high-rise looking over New York with rare contact to the outside world. She gets her schooling from one of the Madam’s women and her company from the other women living with her. She lives her life sheltered, but as she grows older she starts to feel more trapped. She wants adventure and she’ll do everything in her power to get it.
Frankie knew at a young age he would eventually take over his father’s business of crime and prostitution, no matter how much he despised his father, he wouldn’t be able to stand against him. He never imagined in his wildest dreams he’d be willing to step in the murky water’s that is his father’s business with both feet. All to protect a girl who exudes pure innocence. A girl being held prisoner by her mother, The Madam.
With a plan and a motive, Frankie sets forth with his plan to rescue Zell from the high-rise prison she was born into. He’ll see that she gets her freedom, if it’s the last thing he does.
When I first read the blurb for Lock, I was intrigued. Rapunzel has never been one of my most favorite fairy tales. Given the blurb for Lock, I knew I needed to get my hands on this story immediately.
What’s not intriguing about a high rise prostitution ring, An evil Madam with a secret, and an innocent beauty who unknowingly is being held prisoner. And then of course we have the anti-hero who swoops in and saves the day. What’s not to love about that synopsis.
Throughout this story I was on the edge of my seat. I loved Zell’s innocence and the connection she formed with Frankie. She was the sweet to his swoony.
Now onto why I gave this book a 3.5 star rating.
I loved the beginning of this novel. But towards the middle my brain decided it was going to predict the ending…. and I was right. So throughout the second part of the novel, I started to lose interest a little bit. One of my biggest pet peeves is my brain forcing me to predict the outcome of novels and this one was fairly easy to predict.
Overall, Lock was the first novel I read by author Kimberly Knight. For being a first time read, I have to say this was a great compelling read, aside from the predictability. If you’re looking for a dark and sinister read, definitely try this one out.